Driving in daylight allows drivers a great deal of confidence. The sunshine illuminates everything around them and makes it easy to see signs, navigate unfamiliar roadways and respond to hazards. After sunset, though, driving becomes much more dangerous. What unique risks do drivers face after dark?
Darker conditions limit visibility.
With high beam headlights only offering up to 500 feet of visibility and limited assistance from streetlights, drivers find their ability to see significantly limited at night. Other conditions, including inclement weather, the condition of your headlights and the glare from oncoming traffic, can further limit visibility. As a result, drivers are often much closer to hazards when they see them, making it much more difficult to respond to those hazards in time.
Evening hours increase the risk of sharing the road with a drunk driver.
Whether it is a drink after work or an outing on the weekend, evening hours are often the times when people drink alcohol. As a result, they are also the most common hours for people to drive under the influence, and drivers are much more likely to find themselves sharing the road with an impaired driver. This puts drivers at serious risk, and statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that alcohol is 3.4 times more likely to be a factor in fatal crashes at night than those in the day.
While these risks can put people in danger of an accident, drivers can take precautions like driving more slowly, angling their headlights correctly and avoiding fatigued driving. By taking a defensive approach, drivers can protect themselves from these risks.